This weekend I had the opportunity to ride an 1198. Amazing bike is all I can say. I felt like I was living that scene from "Independence Day" when Will Smith was flying the alien spaceship and he said "I have got to get me one of these!".
About a half hour later I got on my ST3 for the ride home and immediately I felt its mass. Never felt that before, always thought it was much closer to a sportbike, got on the gas and was surprised how unresponsive it felt - again I always felt it was very responsive.
I thought about all of this on the hour ride home and I was happy my ST was so comfortable and confident on the open highway. I motored along merrily and as I drove I appreciated the the bike more and more for what it is, a sports touring bike. As I said I used to think it was closer to a sports bike but now I realize how far away from a true sports bike it really is. I used to think about projects to improve its performance and its handling, now I like it just the way it is. That is not to say that I will not consider upgrades in either of those categories, just not as important now.
The 1198 is an awesome bike and there is likely no way to turn our STs into something that can compete with them in a sports bike arena, however the ST shines as an all around great bike that handles the twisty roads with confidence while offering a great ride down the long interstate.
IMO it is still the perfect #1 bike for me, hands down better at this niche than any other bike out there.
I guess the point of my post is that it took a ride on an 1198 to help me to better appreciate the ST3 for what it is.